The Village of Arena Police Department announced its shift to part-time service, citing “low morale” due to issues with the village board. This change sparked concerns among residents about potential increase in emergency response times. Village President Kate Reimann’s response to these concerns — “No records were requested so no answer is given” — is inappropriate and inadequate. Something needs to change.
Sunshine Week is a time to celebrate government transparency and public service, as well as a time to address lapses in the same. In October 2020, shortly after incorporating and shortly before our first edition, we sent out a Wis. Stat. 19.84(1)(b) written request by email from news media to our local governmental bodies asking that Valley Sentinel be sent meeting notices for the respective governmental bodies. Recently, we sent reminder letters by mail to the local governmental bodies in our immediate coverage area that have not been consistent in sending us meeting notices, with several having sent none at all in the past nearly 2.5 years.
Richland County and the greater community were disheartened just over a month ago when a unilateral directive from University of Wisconsin System President Jay Rothman directed the administration of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Richland campus in Richland Center to start winding down operations and to plan to discontinue in-person instruction starting fall 2023, with the directive also promising a transition plan that floated the red herring ideas of online instruction and continuing education.
It’s become increasingly clear that the only way to save UW-Richland is inside a courtroom.